- Publication date
- Public Domain
- Digitizing sponsor
- American Petroleum Institute
This animated cartoon follows the adventures of "Colonel Cosmic," a Martian, as he learns that Oil and Competition are the two things that make America great. It is a sci-fi-influenced economic tract on the strengths of Earth-style free enterprise economics, compared to a stagnating Mars under the fist of a certain Mr. Ogg, who centrally controls the Martian economy. In the film, a Martian undercover agent flies from Mars to Earth to learn about the oil industry, and finds that the lack of government regimentation and control is what makes our system flourish.
Destination Earth was produced by the same company as Make Mine Freedom, and both films share a similar graphic style. But it's six years later, and the United States is still in the middle of the flying saucer craze and worried about invaders from the skies. Well, here come the Martians, and guess what? They come from a planet that looks a lot like the Soviet Union. Even though the little cosmo-creature ostensibly flies to Earth to claim territory for the autocratic Martian ruler "Mr. Ogg," he's really on an intelligence mission.
Unlike Mars, fettered by a centrally controlled command economy, Earth is prospering due to private enterprise and cheap oil. The evidence of Earth's prosperity is shown in petro-centric terms, narrated by the space traveler. This is subversive stuff for the Martians, and Mr. Ogg tries to control the spread of this information. But the gospel of free enterprise is sufficient to foment a Martian revolution, and the planet begins to remake itself in a Terrestrial image. Small businesses open and spread throughout Mars, and wildcatters start drilling for oil below the planet's red sands.
This film is decidedly mellower than many of the other films expressing basically the same ideas. It might be argued that the corporations in the U.S. were no longer so worried about losing "what we have," and instead felt that it was now time to think about subverting our adversaries.
Throughout the Fifties and Sixties, the oil industry was far from shy about telling its story to the public. Through the American Petroleum Institute and its Oil Industry Information Committee, a steady flow of booklets, brochures, speeches, press releases, planted news articles, "public service" advertisements and films made the case for oligopolistic ownership and marketing of petroleum. Two supplements on this disc, "Oil Serves You" and "Oil and the American Way" serve as excellent examples of this public relations offensive.
The oil industry made special efforts to draw a link between freedom and prosperity, as long as prosperity was achieved through private enterprise. In Destination Earth, private enterprise (and cheap oil!) is actually pictured as a force sufficiently revolutionary to overthrow repressive societies. The ending might have been different if American oil companies had decided to go into business with Mr. Ogg. Oil companies also boasted about the extent of competition in their industry and extolled its benefits for the consumer. These assertions considerably stretched the truth but achieved credibility through obsessive repetition.
Destination Earth avoids coming off as too doctrinaire or propagandistic through its self-deprecating humor (a trademark of John Sutherland films), but it's still an insidious, self-serving piece of corporate propaganda. It takes the ideas expressed in films like Make Mine Freedom and How to Lose What We Have and takes them one step further, showing free-enterprise ideology not simply as a defense against socialism but as a means of subverting other societies. If you care to read this film as prophetic, you can compare its plot to the course of events following the opening of Eastern Europe in 1989.
EXCELLENT COMMIE PROPAGANDA
Animation Cartoons American Petroleum Institute Petroleum industry Oil industry Space age Space travel Spaceships Space aliens Interplanetary travel Martians Flying saucers Surrealism Science fiction Free enterprise Capitalism Economics Centralized planning Planning Authoritarianism
[American Petroleum Institute presents animated cartoons animation]
[Destination Earth. Color by Technicolor. title cards art cards graphic design science fiction flying saucers spaceships space ships space aliens extraterrestrials Martians earth globes planets]
[Direction: Carl Urbano; Story: Bill Scott, Michael Amestoy, George Gordon; Production Design: Tom Oreb, Vic Haboush; Animation: George Cannata, Ken O'Brien, Bill Higgins, Tom Ray, Russ Von Neida; Backgrounds: Joe Montell; Production Manager: Earl Jonas. Produced by John Sutherland in association with Film Counselors, Inc. ]
"Attention. Attention. This is your beloved leader, Ogg the exalted. [Mars totalitarianism dictators Josef Stalin Communism Stalinism planets flying saucers Welcome to Oggville signs Shop at Oggs Our Great Leader cult of personality loudspeakers Our Glorious Leader Ogg the Great]
There will be a special giant joy rally today at Ogg Memorial Stadium honoring that intrepid space explorer Colonel Cosmic. Hear the Colonel's first words since his return from the planet Earth. [Ogg: friend, leader, crusader banners cosmonauts astronauts parades Oggmart Ogg Cafe]
You are all commanded - er, invited - to attend." [social control weapons coercion totalitarianism]
[Ovation wild applause signs prompters prompting commands]
"Please, please. Thank you for this unsolicited testimonial. And now by special permission of the commander-in-chief - me - here is Mars' first space explorer, Colonel Cosmic." [speeches cosmonauts astronauts]
I can't tell you how happy I am to see your smiling faces once more. [mild applause]
First let me say that this trip was made possible only by our dauntless chief, Ogg the Magnificent, introducer of Ogg power, which runs most of our industry. [human slavery treadmills power generation generators]
And inventor of Ogg speed, which doubles the original Ogg power. A short time ago the master was having trouble with the state limousine. He had, of course, developed the Ogg-plosive charge. But it was inclined to get a little out of hand, just slightly, and of course there was always the problem of friction, parts rubbing together, heating up, and causing all sorts of trouble. [torture pins sticking pain rockets explosions wheels crashes accidents]
But our - our leader was undaunted. He immediately ordered our first expedition into space to bring back the secret of how other planets got their state limousines to run smoothly.
The target was picked with painstaking scientific accuracy - destination Earth. [planets]
You all know with what eagerness I volunteered for the mission and with what confidence I took off. I took careful bearings and set out for my goal. It seemed no time till I was approaching a country of Earth called the United States of America. [spaceships rockets space travel globes maps]
I set her down like a feather." [crashes billboards UFOs unidentified flying objects flying saucers]
"What's that, Pa?" "What's all the racket?" "Naturally I protected government property by making the saucer invisible." "They're after the chickens, Ma." [shooting guns bullets ricochets]
"And though the natives showed great interest in me, I decided to make myself invisible, too. Seeing moving lights in the distance, I headed for them. What phenomenal luck - I had landed close to what seemed to be an endless procession of state limousines. [cities automobiles cars traffic driving highways skylines]
They moved quickly and yet with fantastic smoothness. I just had to get a closer look at one of those Earthmobiles. [crashes accidents animation psychedelia psychedelic]
Just as I thought - not only smooth and efficient, but powerful as well. I watched them for hours.
Great Ganymede - they were superb. I just couldn't help comparing them with ours, if you call that a comparison.
Surely these vehicles must be the property of the highest officials. I was wrong. It seems that almost everybody in this country has one of those - uh, they call them automobiles.
They use them for transportation, for business, for pleasure. They use them for all sorts of things. [station wagons kissing Just Married newlyweds tin cans]
I found that these vehicles gather at places called service stations where they are fed, lubricated - that's how they beat friction - and given the finest care. The source of their nourishment was something called petroleum.
A power source like that must be a highly prized state secret. I had to find out about it. Perhaps the secret lay within this government archives building. It was highly guarded, but casting discretion to the winds, I walked boldly inside. [public libraries librarians Public Library gender stereotypes card catalogs invisibility]
Their code was remarkably easy to break. They merely substituted the word "oil" for "petroleum." And I soon got hold of a veritable mine of classified information. [books speedreading speed reading]
I began to assimilate the material. I soon found out that though petroleum products are easily found anywhere, petroleum itself is a very elusive substance. [oil research]
Experts have to search for it constantly in all the most likely and unlikely places, with all kinds of scientific devices. When they figure they've found a good spot, they drill a hole in the ground called an "oil well," for almost all oil lies far beneath the surface of the earth. [oil exploration wildcatting drilling]
These wells go down thousands of feet and cost a lot of money to drill. But that's no guarantee that they're going to find oil.
Matter of fact, in exploratory drilling, only one well in nine finds any oil at all. Only one in forty-four recovers enough oil to pay for itself. And only one in almost a thousand makes a major discovery - pretty big odds.
Yet America's crude reserves - the oil supply still underground - have kept increasing steadily. I couldn't imagine how this ever-increasing supply of oil was achieved until I found out that there's not just one, but thousands of oil companies, all competing with each other to discover and develop new sources of oil. For believe it or not, in the USA, anyone who is willing to risk it can drill for oil. [competition free enterprise]
But oil discovery is only part of the story. Once they get oil out of the ground, it has to be moved through pipelines, on ships, or in tank cars to fantastic processing plants called refineries.
Crude oil goes in, and - great Jupiter - the things that come out. Gasoline, for example, the most efficient mobile power source on Earth.
That was the stuff that powered all those cars and trucks. And asphalt, which makes smooth, durable roads. It seems that oil not only runs cars, it even gives 'em something to run on. [highways]
Another oil product is the diesel fuel which runs giant trains across the nation. In winter, fuel oil made from petroleum brings warmth and comfort to millions of homes. And still other fuels help defend America's shores and skies. [railroads military fighters airplanes]
From refineries also come the lubricating oils and greases that keep the wheels turning in America. But that still isn't all.
Crude oil like everything else is made up of billions of tiny molecules, and using the magic of research, oil companies compete with each other in taking the petroleum molecule apart, and rearranging it into, well, you name it! [chemistry]
Fabrics, toothbrushes, tires, insecticide, cosmetics, weed killers. A whole galaxy of things to make a better life on Earth. [industrial research new products technology]
And you know, it isn't just oil companies that try to outdo each other competing for the customer's dollar. The same story is true of almost every successful business enterprise in America. The result: a higher standard of living in the USA than in any other country on the whole planet. [competition free enterprise consumerism consumers shopping marketing advertising]
At last the secret was mine. And now to get proof of my discovery, smuggle it past the border guards. In spite of my infinite precaution, one of them became suspicious and gave the alarm. [invisibility librarians screams whistles fear]
"Come back for the eggs, didya? Get 'em, Pa." And so with a fond farewell to the natives ringing in my ears, I took off once again for Mars. [spaceships space ships space travel flying saucers crashes]
My landing was a little bumpy, but I saved my precious cargo. Yes, I brought the secrets back with me, and here they are.
The big secret is of course oil, which has brought a better life to all the people in the USA. But the key to making oil work for everybody is competition. Fellow Martians. I thank you." [Story of Oil Competition More For All]
"Very interesting, Colonel. Oil, eh? Sounds splendid. But that, what was it, competition, not our kind of thing at all. Why competition is downright un-Martian." "Oil for everybody. Oh boy, oil." [Martian Oil Explorers. Oil Pioneers. Martian Oil Explorers. Well No. 1 market economy overthrow revolution capitalism small business]
"Look at them. You know what this means, Cosmic?" "You bet I do, Ogg. It means that you are through. [Joe's Cafe. Today's Special. Under New Management.]
So why don't you get lost. Yes, the real secret is not only a great source of energy, but also the freedom to make it work for everybody.
And if you have both of these things, any goal is possible. It's destination unlimited. [Destination unlimited.]
[The End. Presented by Oil Industry Information Committee of the American Petroleum Institute. Copyright 1956.]
- Closed captioning
- United States
- Run time
Just wondering if there any way of proving that this video is public domain and isn't owned by somebody else?
Subject: entertaining, historically important animation. of course oil company/us imperialist propaganda
update @ USABG58 . I respect your comment. your comment is more proof that Libertarians are "a broad church" and you don't seem like the hypocritical Ayn Rand type of survival of the fittest. She collected her social security in retirement while ranting against it most of her life.
However, with all due respect, you are using socialism loosely. The USSR and the Warsaw pact(the soviet sattelites of eastern europe countries) was an awful bloody dictatorship led by the cult of Stalin. Most developed and many developing countries(in recent years) have a more beneficial public or social sector than the US has become.
for one, public paid for streets, freeways and thruways benefit the private sector for transporting goods.
As you being a libertarian and i as social democrat can agree on one and other things. for one we are both against US imperialism. The corporations and 0.2% run our government And when the corporations can't exploit a resource country through working with the exploitation fat cats in these countries to keep wages low for workerws, than they call in the US military.
Our best solution to national security is pulling our military out of the rest of the world and dismantling the US empire. Ironically as it is the US has become a totalitarian capitalist state. We need to restore the republic and end what John Quincy Adams stated in so many words that if the US would become an empire it would turn into a monster.
A free but civilized and compassionate society must need both a private sector and a public sector. btw, do you know that this free for all private medical system of ours has created one of the biggest public/private bureacracies of all time. In France yes you can open a private practice, but their public health care system is the gold standard of the world almost every year. that is because the doctors, nurses, and citizens of all social strata created and run that system. The politicians and lobbyists were kept out of that creation in the late 1950's to today. And unlike many public health care systems, the doctor decides how much time he will spend with a patient and its usually more time than US doctors can. In fact US doctors ironically have a canadian type maximum of spending only 10 minutes to 20 minutes maximum. It is about two thirds the cost of our american system yet its medical technology and care outperform or are at least on par with our med tech and care as ours. Our military takes up half the tax payers money, almost a trillion a year. If we called our boys home and dismantled all these military bases around the world, our taxes would be much lower and for just a fraction of the old military budget we could have quality medicare for all from birth.
Did you ever notice all the paper pushers in US doctors offices increasing(and US doctors increasingly spend hours after the office closes to fill out forms and calling the endless insurance companies fighting to get a procedure for a patient)
In France there is only one private sector part. And that is contracting out the paper work and there is a lot less of it because the paper work management company has only the State and a few private insurance companies.
so you might say well millions in the private insurance industry will lose jobs. well so did millions of american manufacturing workers lost jobs when our corporate masters moved all the manufacture of things we need and desire to Asia and other begger poor workers nations who work for a couple dollars a day at most.
We must retool our energy to solar or and we can recyle light itself to a lesser degree producing energy. we have lots of work to do to repair our transportation infrastructure, and so on. these things will create millions of jobs in the US, part from the taxpayer and part from the private sector. again our taxes will be much less without the corporate led US military.
And then their are worker directed enterprizes too to create jobs. for example in Cleveland, there are blocks of year round green houses that grow vegetables. their are no share holders. from the Agricultural scientists down to the planters and caring for the growth of the edible vegetables. Of course pay grades are not all the same and the ag tech's get more money that the janitor but the wealth gap is smaller than in the US general economy. instead of a board of directors and shareholders, the professionals and workers have their own meetings. when they are flourishing the profits are shared between the owners, that is the professionals and workers who own and run the greenhouse. Look up the Mondragon co-op or worker directed enterprize in Spain. It employs almost 100,000. it makes more industrial type things and has other departments which produce other things. Again it is run by the workers: managers, engineers, technologists, scientists down to the manual laborers. its one man one vote, and the unskilled labor almost always give a higher pay to the skilled. but again without all the middle men the workers make a decent wage
well enough for now. thanks
Subject: Oil-based economy isn't sustainable, is it?
Subject: Used as the basis for a new music video! :)
Subject: Some Top Talent
Carl Urbano, George Gordon and Joe Montell were at MGM. Tom Oreb was a top Disney designer. So was Vic Haboush, who died less than two months ago. Ken O'Brien was at Disney and later at Lantz in the later 1940s. Tom Ray moved on to Warners and he and Earl Jonas both worked with Chuck Jones at MGM in the '60s. George Cannata bounced from the east coast (Fleischer) to the west (briefly at Warners).
Bill Scott had been at Warners and UPA. He despised his experience at Sutherland making propaganda films and comments on in it 'The Moose That Roared.' How fortunate for the cartoon world he ended up at Jay Ward.
Russ Von Neida was later the head of the Screen Cartoonists Guild.
Marvin Miller is doing the voices. Straight narration in character is quite an accomplishment.
The layouts are just tremendous in this.
I presume the music is from a stock library. It sounds like something you'd hear on a UPA cartoon.
Subject: Destination Earth
Despite it's heavy handed propagandist cold war vibes I'm giving it a good rating because it's a priceless artifact of a by gone era.
Subject: Re: Spaceship Fuel
As you can see in the cartoon, he used oggsplosive power to get the ship to Earth, oggviously. ;)
Subject: Great for ART's sake & nothing else
It's great to watch for the "art". Fans of animation [like myself] will like this film for THIS reason alone.
It's comical how the "Martian" can come all the way to earth in a spaceship, but, in order to drive their "lousy" cars back on Mars, they need "oil" like what's found on earth! Ha ha! Big gap in the story?
Also, anyone who's looking for symbolism in this film with "todays" oil & political situation must really be easily offended or duped. [??]
It's great animation! That's all!
Subject: Destination Propaganda
115% Pure Propaganda
Easily Digestable and Made in America
side effects may include: Jingoistic behavior, Tendancy to oversimplify the enemy, High susceptibility to the Red Herring/Chewbacca Defense and repetition/jingle propaganda.
Subject: Crappy, Sorry I mean CLASSIC cartoon!
Subject: Oil our God
The cartoon certainly carries the Bush agenda.
Can you count the propaganda messages?
Subject: Capitalism and Oil Drilling for Dummies
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: Makes Economic Sense
Subject: Oil and Competition
Subject: A Nice Surprise
Other reviewrs are correct in pointing how actually very little change was made in the world in some of the aspects that this film covers.
Subject: take the bus
The energy of corporate america on the glorydays on 50ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ´s... Now it became bush, tv, fat, war, telemarketing, consuming and all the "standart stupidity".
Colin Powell as "Colonel Cosmic",
WMD as petroleum (you spend a lot searching but its hard to find)
"The big secret is of course oil, which has brought a better life to all the people in the USA."
Subject: Thank God for non-communists
Subject: Drink Texas Tea to Brighten Your Tomorrow!
Subject: Did I not just watch 'Despotism'?
Subject: Amazing and Senseless